Much of the praise may come from a languishing set of competitors, but Mortal Engines shouldn’t be shirked at nonetheless

When a new franchise looks to take its turn in the cinematic spotlight, having a dystopian/post-apocalyptic setting often gives it a very familiar feel. These are worlds created for young adults, often very similar to all of the other releases aimed at the same audience. Mortal Engines certainly has that feel, but upon viewing, there is genuinely something both different and unique about Christian River’s latest film.

Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar) is a young woman with a plan, setting out to destroy the leader of London; Now one of the great cities roaming the Earth as a moving engine. But when Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) gets in the way of her carrying out the plan’s final act, the pair must embrace each other, and travel back to London to finish what they started.

Mortal Engines 2

Mortal Engines has clearly  been hugely influenced by its producer Peter Jackson, whose history with fantasy film making is starkly evident throughout. The scale of the whole production gives off an extensively global feel, and the sheer size of the world can be wonderfully overwhelming.

The action feels a step above its young adult competitors, and combined with the global scale, Mortal Engines plays host to a strong believable nature, however post-apocalyptic it may actually be. This also stems from the fantastic world Christopher Reeve created in his original novels, but Jackson and Rivers have managed to transfer that into a cinematic scale with relative ease.

Much of the praise may come from a languishing set of competitors, but Mortal Engines shouldn’t be shirked at nonetheless. It’s expansive, powerful and thoroughly enjoyable. It won’t win any awards, and really doesn’t blow any socks off, but it is certainly the very best of a bad bunch.


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